Angels All Around!

I just have to publicly thank God for the, “angels” He sent my way today. Just before I escaped to warmer climates, I broke the tip out emergency window on my RV. With no other remedy at the time, I stopped by Home Depot and purchased a piece of plexiglass. Unfortunately, they don’t offer cutting services (only for lumber,) and only had a few pieces that were close to the size of my window, so I resorted to some good ‘ole duct tape. Yep, it was just as tacky as you’re imagining!

Fast forward to today. I found an Ace Hardware here in KY that could cut plexiglass, but did not sell sheets. I called Lowe’s in Florence, and they sold and cut plexiglass — needless to say, I was on my way! I got there and met Jen. She’s the most warmhearted woman, knows her way around a toolbox and as I would soon find out, is handy under the hood of vehicles, as well. Can you say, “GIRL POWER?!?”

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She took a good chunk of time out of her day to measure my window, cut the glass, round and sand the edges (a service they don’t even offer,) and install it for me. She said she just wanted to help me because of the work I do with our Veterans. Amazing!

After she finished, we walked around my rig and noticed antifreeze leaking from beneath. She told me to pop the hood, and as she was inspecting, a gentleman, William, walked up and asked if he could help. They both determined there was a small leak in the radiator. Jen and I went inside to look for a product to stop the leak, but discovered that Lowe’s no longer carried it. We returned to my RV, and not only was William still under the hood, but another gentleman, Malachi, was working, as well!

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They found the leak and decided that because it was so small, the stop leak product would definitely work. By this time, however, Malachi had already called the local Auto Zone and had gotten the pricing and ordering information for a new radiator, and gave me the number to the mechanic he uses right near the campground where I’m staying.

In the meantime, William had jumped in his car and in a few moments, returned with a bottle of the product I needed to halt the leak. To top it off, he refused payment for the product or his help. I drove away with a working radiator, a new window, thanksgiving in my heart and a love for Kentucky!

Today was a good day 🙂

Let me finish by giving Malachi and William a plug: Anyone needing handyman services in the Northern Kentucky area, please contact Malachi…

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(859) 760-0957

If you need construction and remodeling, please call William Iles of Iles Brothers Construction and Remodeling Company at (859) 446-6593

…and of course, if you need anything offered by Lowe’s, stop in and see Jen! She is quite a lady 🙂

Drastic Change of Scenery

It’s very hard to believe that only a few days ago, I was battling the snow and ice. After traveling a mere four hours down I-75, this is the view outside of my window today:

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Yesterday, it was 65 degrees and rainy; today, it’s a sunny 56 and very comfortable. I left temperatures in the low teens which brought frozen tanks on my RV, and achy bones on me.

Today, I’m relaxed, sipping a cup of honey chamomile tea and watching the film, Prisoners on pay-per-view. When the movie ends, however, it’s back to the keyboard to continue work on my next novel. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that these temps will last.

Mother Nature Won…

ImageIn my last post, I spoke of the battles I was having fighting the winter weather in Michigan. The funny thing is that it’s not even officially winter yet! To make matters worse, I broke my emergency exit window the day before another snowfall…yep, Murphy’s Law was really rubbing in it’s presence. I knew that if conditions were already taxing, they would only get worse as, “real” winter weather progressed.  As such, I waived the white flag of surrender and retreated to Kentucky, where the temperature is a mild 55 degrees.  I will be here for at least the next month and we’ll see what happens then.  Gotta love the versatility of rolling home ownership! 

Bigotry is Bigotry…Period

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On December 6th, I began searching for upcoming book festivals in hopes of escaping to a warmer climate for a few days. For those who follow my blog, you may recall how I fell head over heels in love with Savannah, GA while on my book tour this past summer. Imagine my glee when I saw their book festival will take place in just a couple if months.

I looked at the site, http://www.savannahbookfestival.org and was immediately shocked by what I saw. As one who celebrates multiculturalism and loves learning about the traditions and views of other ethnicities, I was actually hurt by the display of all white authors; 37 authors, not one of another race. I was so taken aback, I was compelled to contact the coordinator. The following are our communications:

—-Original Message—–
From: teamortalk@gmail.com [mailto:teamortalk@gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, December 06, 2013 10:45
To: Info
Subject: SBF Website Contact
NAME: DR D L TEAMOR

COMMENTS: It would really be nice to see at least a bit of diversity amongst the authors. Perhaps you could take that into consideration at next year’s event. I was in Savannah a few months ago for a book signing event for my latest release and became very excited by the prospect of returning just to relax and see other authors when I saw an ad for this event. I am left despondent at this point, because the representation makes it seem that there is no interest in writers of other ethnicities. This is very unfortunate in 2013. This is precisely why the south has a continued reputation of blatant racism. Inconsideration is no different than exclusion.
————————————————————
On Dec 9, 2013, at 8:55, Robin Gold wrote:

Dear Dr. Teamor:

We agree that there should be a more diverse representation of authors at the Festival.

I can assure you that we have invited NUMEROUS authors of a broad representation of ethnicities and have been turned down by them for various reasons.

We will continue to seek authors who would be a good fit for the Festival regardless of race or ethnicity. The 2014 Festival is an exception, but it’s not because we didn’t invite a number of authors of minority races.

Thank you for your concern, but I can assure you that we try very hard to have a balanced representation of authors and genres.

Sincerely,

Robin Gold
Executive Director
Savannah Book Festival
————————————————————
Thank you for your response. However, being an African American author who spends the majority of her time amongst largely diverse groups of authors around the country, I find your dilemma very hard to believe. Your search for ethnic authors could be done by simply visiting Amazon author pages. There are literally thousands of African descended, Latino, Asian and Native authors who long to be included in this kind of event.

Mitch Albom, your keynote, is a white author from DETROIT. He is always included on lists with African American and Latino authors and could easily have suggested ethnic peers. I wonder if the authors you say you’ve contacted are as turned off as I am and that’s why they’ve declined.

I certainly will not press the issue and will not contact you again, but when I see these kinds of situations, I am deeply saddened. Your web page for this event could easily be an ad for a 1940’s or 50’s event. I’m sure that I don’t stand alone amongst my counterparts.

Dr D L Teamor
Sent from my iPhone
————————————————————

When I read her response, I was immediately reminded of Romney’s, “Binders full of women” that were brought to him when he was governer.

More recently, I think of Saturday Night Live’s, Lorne Michaels stating that there are no African American women on the show but, “It’s not like it’s not a priority for us…It will happen, I’m sure it will happen.”

To me, all these hold as much water as a bucket with a hole in it. We live in, “the melting pot,” right? There are no shortages of men, women, children, races, nationalities, religions or sexual orientations. Anyone and everyone can be represented if there is a desire to do so. It’s time to STOP WITH THE EXCUSES. After all, an excuse is, was and will always be nothing but a dressed up lie.

Another Chapter Ends

I’ve been away from the blog for a few days because I had to do some unexpected travel. As you know, I live, work and travel in my RV. Last Wednesday, I decided that although I love my, “Gypsy Rider,” I need a little more space in my rolling home. I placed it for sale on Craigslist just to see if anyone may be interested in buying it. The first day, I received two emails. The first potential buyer came out on Thursday to see it, and told me he’d call back the next day with his decision. The second asked where he and his wife could meet me the next day to buy it. Whoa!

Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I agreed to meet at a nearby bank to handle the transaction. That meant, I had to clear out my Rialta and find a new one to purchase in less than 24 hours. I started my search online and made a few phone calls. I ended up having to leave messages and spoke with no one personally. At this point, my nerves took over and I wondered if I had moved too hastily.

The next day, I handed over the keys to Gypsy Rider’s new owner, Joe, rented a car and checked into a hotel to continue the search for my new abode (since I hadn’t received a return call from any of the messages I’d previously left.)

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After midnight, I found one that was in my price range, but still had all of the features I needed. I called Friday morning, and before I knew it, I was on my way to Camping World in Akron, OH. There was some work that needed to be done on it, so they put me up in the Fairfield Inn right next door to their location. Saturday, I returned my rental car at the Akron Airport, picked up my 29′ Minnie Winnie (I must find a new name for this one,) and began my return trip.

It has taken me two days to organize everything in my new space, but now, it feels like home!

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Small Town Charm

On the final stretch of my drive home, I stumbled upon a wonderful little town in Ohio. Chillicoth seems to be one of those hidden US jewels that time has forgotten, yet just five minutes up the road, all of our modern niceties are found. It just doesn’t get much better than this!

Chillicoth was both the first and third capital of Ohio, and the pride of holding that honor is apparent. From the painted barns to the little white churches, this is a place to unwind, relax and just let go. I will definitely revisit very soon. It’s in the midst of these tiny towns that so many treasures are found.

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The Journey Home II

I continued my northbound travels through The Virginias and Kentucky… There were simply too many beautiful scenes to capture them all. Here are some I thought you’d enjoy… (regarding the guy in the camo overalls, I just couldn’t resist — I’ve just never seen anyone in public that way!)

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The Journey Home Begins

Released from the hospital with meds in tow, I began the journey back to the Midwest. I must say, the US is a beautiful country; you just have to make sure you take your time to see all that it has to offer. Here are a few pics from my drive between South Carolina, where I was able to visit Ft. Jackson (I hadn’t been there since I was 11 when my brother began his service in the US Army) and Virginia.

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Books and Bell’s

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My last book signing of this tour was bittersweet, to say the least. I arrived in Jacksonville on a beautiful, sunny day and checked in at the Pecan Park RV Resort (the most comfortable park where I’ve resided in any state, by the way.)

Before the event, I had the opportunity to visit a few downtown attractions and then made my way to the signing.
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After a satisfying number of sales, out of nowhere, my right eye began to feel swollen. I glanced in the mirror to my left, and everything appeared normal.

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A few more sales, a few more photos and signings, and then my face went numb. I could no longer smile, my speech became slurred, and I was dizzy and nauseous (that’s supposed to be a smile in the pic below…)
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When all was said and done, I left the event early and ended my night at Baptist Health Hospital. The staff, including Chaplain Genesis S. (pictured below with his wife and baby,) took care of me and my little Lola, and the view from my room couldn’t have been more beautiful.
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Thank God, there was no sign of stroke although my blood pressure was 203/105 when I arrived in the emergency room.

The diagnosis…Bell’s Palsy. The blessing…I was struck only upon completion of this book tour! Alas, I’m heading home for awhile, working on my next novel, setting a few acupuncture appointments and hitting the road to recovery!